Caroline Casey describes the branch of astrology she practices as “Visionary Activist Astrology”. A well known keynote speaker and astrological political commentator in the US, Casey’s catch phrase is “Imagination lays the tracks for the Reality Train to follow”.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. In fact it had sat on my shelf for about 4 years before I finally picked it up and read it. This is not your usual cook book astrology. It’s a profound exploration of the meaning behind the planets and how we can relate to them through ritual.
In the introduction to her book she says “Astrology is not a belief system; it is a language of the dynamic interplay between our interior life and the exterior world“. The author doesn’t seek to make us believers, instead she encourages us to form a dialogue with the Gods (represented by the planets) in order to fully live and experience our unique life. Once we are familiar with and at peace with all aspects of ourselves then we can create a peaceful and loving world. My understanding of her intent is that we are co-creators in a divine world, a microcosm of the greater pattern. Casey says that “Astrology is the language of the invisible order that runs throughout creation“. She advocates free will and asks us to put aside what we believe in to allow the truth to speak to us; our own truth. The planets do not make us do anything, they simply provide us with information that can keep us on track with our life mission if we are open to receiving the information. “Your chart is a symbolic map of your contract with life“.
Whilst I found her writing dense and very occasionally impenetrable, I did find myself completely absorbed in Casey’s writing. She seems to reel in myths and legends, snippets of science, philosophy, psychology, personal experience and historical writings effortlessly in order to weave a picture of the essential nature of the planets. I found myself taking lots of notes and fascinated by the many quotes she includes.
Casey begins with an exploration of the “grammar” of astrology namely the signs, houses and a little on the aspects, transits and retrograde motion. Each of the planets and the Sun and Moon are then given their own chapters where she fully explores the essential natures of the Gods through mythology as well as examples from astrological practice. She also includes suggestions for rituals that will allow you to communicate with the planets/Gods and therefore express their natures. At all times, the author puts the emphasis on the reader to engage in a dialogue with the universe, uphold personal responsibility and endeavour to find their own path through the forest.
This is perhaps not a beginners book in astrology but I would highly recommend it to intermediate students. Whilst the amount of information she presents may not be digestible in one go, even on a first read I found myself with new insights and discoveries that make me realise I will re-read her work probably many times.
Caroline Casey makes a weekly radio show which you can download from her site which explores myths, symbolism and magic in the modern world and there is also a free download of her address to the 2008 United Astrology Conference.